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Call for care of hip fracture patients to be unified in Australian and New Zealand hospitals

Experts call on Australian and New Zealand hospitals to adopt uniform standards of quality and care for hip fracture patients. A report released today highlights considerable variation between hospitals in a number of aspects of hip fracture care.

The Australian and New Zealand Hip Fracture Registry (ANZHFR) Annual Report provides evidence there is considerable room for improvement in the care of hip fracture patients in hospitals.

“The timing of surgery, management of pain and post-operative care were areas that were highlighted as needing improvement,” says Professor Jacqui Close, Geriatrician and Co-Chair of the ANZHFR.

“At present, 25 of a possible 121 Australian and New Zealand hospitals have provided the Registry with data to gain an overview of the current state of play within hospitals,” says Professor Ian Harris, Orthopaedic Surgeon and Co-Chair of the ANZHFR. “There is a clear and urgent call for others to follow suit.”

Hip fracture is the most serious and costly fall-related injury suffered by older people. In Australia, more than 50 people are admitted to hospital with a hip fracture every day. This is an increase of 22 percent since 2002-03. The individual consequences are significant: 5% of those admitted will die in hospital; more than 10% will be discharged directly to an aged care facility; after 12 months fewer than 50% of people will be walking as well as they did before their injury; and another 15-20% will have died.

“Lives can be dramatically improved by applying best practice principles through timely, coordinated care that considers the ongoing needs of each patient,” says Prof Close.

Today, the Australian and New Zealand Hip Fracture Registry will release its first Annual Report, which aims to use data to improve care for people who have sustained a hip fracture, and drive change where needed to ensure the best possible outcomes for older people are achieved.

At the same event, The Australian and New Zealand Commissions will launch the Hip Fracture Care Clinical Care Standard, which identifies key areas of high quality care to improve outcomes for older people admitted to hospital with a hip fracture.

The ANZHFR is a joint initiative of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Geriatric Medicine (ANZSGM), the Australian Orthopaedic Association (AOA), and the New Zealand Orthopaedic Association (NZOA). It was inspired by the success of the British Orthopaedic Association and the British Geriatrics Society implementation of a National Hip Fracture Database in 2011.

Information collected in the registry is derived from the current evidence base for best practice hip fracture care as outlined in the Australian and New Zealand Guideline for Hip Fracture Care, published in 2014.

The information in the Hip Fracture Care Clinical Care Standard and the ANZHFR Annual Report will play a role in reducing rates of institutionalisation, reducing complications and treatment delays, reducing mortality, and ensuring best possible functional outcomes for older people after a fractured hip.

The Australian and New Zealand Hip Fracture Registry Annual Report will be launched at UNSW on Tuesday, September 13, 2016 at 10am. Media are welcome.

The report will be available to the public via the website www.anzhfr.org.